I came into this thinking I had something ﬁgured out, that I was going to prove deﬁnitively that I knew something about this shadowy ﬁgure from the end of “The Gunslinger.” I set up a hypothesis while watching the rest of the series. I thought it was almost bullet proof, but when I went back to review in preparation for this article, I discovered my hypothesis—at least my justiﬁcation for it—was probably wrong. With that said, let’s jump into some theories about who this character could possibly (and possibly not) be.
SPOILERS FOR THE MANDALORIAN FOLLOW! Do not continue if these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Have some Baby Yoda as a consolation prize.
Ok, so as most of you who are still with me know, the ﬁfth episode of The Mandalorian closes with a shot of a caped—or jacketed (more on that later)—individual standing over the corpse of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), a highly skilled assassin with a bounty on her head. The internet has been aﬂutter for a while with discussions of who this might be. Some have been saying it could be Boba Fett. Phil Owen over at The Wrap lays out a fairly convincing argument though I disagree. One item on his list: the presence of a beeping sound similar to one we hear emitting from what I would assume would be Fett’s helmet in the maligned special edition of A New Hope.
To rebut, I point to another instance of a similar sound at the 18:17 mark of a diﬀerent ﬁfth episode, The Empire Strikes Back. During this scene, the rebels have just detected strange readings that turn out to be a Viper probe droid. You can ﬁnd a second, clearer instance of the sound at the 18:57 mark right before the droid retracts its antennae. (You’re on your own finding these; it would seem this is the hardest scene to find in full on YouTube.) It would seem this is the sound certain scanners make in the Star Wars universe, meaning a diﬀerent tracker could be the user, not just everyone’s favorite Sarlacc fodder.
Owens also points to the jangling spurs sound we hear while the mysterious ﬁgure walks. While that is the most likely indicator that this could be Fett, I have to point to show creator Jon Favreau’s interview on Good Morning America. When asked if Boba Fett would be in The Mandalorian, Favreau stated, “Boba Fett is not; they’re all new, original characters.” This is where my trouble begins because I had originally wanted to argue that this individual could be the Clone Wars era bounty hunter Cad Bane. If anyone looks like he deserves a jangly spurs sound eﬀect, it’s that duster-clad, planter-hat-topped Duros! Perhaps Favreau meant non-movie when he said original, but that’s not much to go on. It doesn’t help matters that Bane was slated for death in the cancelled seventh season of The Clone Wars. With a new seventh season about to launch, perhaps his fate will be decided once and for all.
Caitlin Gallagher laid out a veritable laundry list over at Bustle, including the unlikely— but fun to consider—theory that it could be Luke Skywalker. Two entries included on that list, though, are what I have concluded are the most realistic. 1) It could be Mando’s old “boss,” Greef Carga, or 2) the more likely candidate, it could be the ﬁrst time we see the big, bad Moﬀ Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Initially, I thought his cape was longer than the one we saw in “The Gunslinger,” but upon closer analysis, my initial hypothesis, as mentioned earlier, broke down.
You can see in the two screenshots above that the cape falls somewhere between mid-calf and just above the ankle on both characters. One reservation I have about deﬁnitively siding with the Moﬀ Gideon argument, though, is the lack of the spur sound when we ﬁnally do meet him in episode seven, “The Reckoning.” It would seem a major oversight to introduce such a unique sound associated with a character only to sideline it later. The other reservation is the lack of any acknowledgment or allusion to the previous episode. While it doesn’t completely nix the possibility, it lacks a narrative continuity that seems amateurish for the likes of Favreau and episode director, Deborah Chow. While it isn’t necessary to explicitly spell it out, the complete lack of any narrative acknowledgment could be telling. At this point, audiences will have to wait for answers from season two of The Mandalorian later this year on Disney Plus.